Group busted for selling $25 million in stolen concert tickets

A group of “Wiseguys” hacked into online ticket computers and snatched up more than 1.5 million primo tickets that they resold for $25 million to unsuspecting customers for shows by Bruce Springsteen and Hannah Montana, among others, as well as playoff games at Yankee Stadium, federal authorities announced this afternoon.

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Three defendants surrendered at FBI headquarters in Newark as indictments against them were unsealed this morning in U.S. District Court just blocks away — part of a campaign by state and federal authorities to crack down on scalpers who bleed fans willing to pay anything to see their favorite acts.

All three men are from California — and they called their business “Wiseguys”: Kenneth Lowson, 40, Kristofer Kirsch, 37 and Joel Stevenson, 37.

A fourth man, Faisal Nahdi, 36, also of California, also was named in the Indictment.

A computer programmer in Bulgaria crashed the lines for the thieves’ Nevada-based company, called Wisebuy Tickets Inc., according to the indictment. The conspirators then jacked up the prices and sold the tickets to brokers — who, in turn, boosted the costs even higher.

For Springsteen alone, the seven-year operation bought nearly 12,000 tickets in late 2007, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in Newark.

The Indictment was unsealed today with the surrender of three defendants, Kenneth Lowson, 40, Kristofer Kirsch, 37 and Joel Stevenson, 37 – all of California – this morning at FBI Headquarters in Newark. Defendant Faisal Nahdi, 36, of California, also was charged in the Indictment.

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